Posts Tagged ‘formatting in Microsoft Word’

When I format my books for ebooks, it’s SO easy. I can do it quickly with no problems. All Romance has several formats, but you have to convert them before uploading, so I do Mobi, Epub, PDF, RB, LIT, html, etc. I never have any problems. BUT, when it comes to formatting for print, there are so many things you have to do. I keep forgetting what order I like to do it all in, so I decided for next time I needed to make a checklist. I thought I would share it here since someone else might benefit from it.

This is all done in Microsoft Word. I’m assuming you already have the paragraph indents done. Some of these steps might not apply to you.

1. Change the pages to the size you want the book to be. I do mine 5.5 x 8.5

2. Change it to “justified”. This is where the right side lines up, which is the norm for print books. Some people do this for ebooks, too, but I don’t see a reason for it.

3. Add the “gutter” so that when the book is bound, there is room in the margin. You have to choose “mirror margins” and the gutter should be on the left side on the odd pages and the right side on the even pages.

4. Change the chapter font and add a graphic under the chapter if you want one. This is entirely optional, but I like my chapters to have a different font with a graphic.

5. Go through and make sure all chapters start on an odd numbered page. If they don’t, add a white page right before it. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it looks more professional, and most traditionally published books are like this.

6. Add your headings. Your name goes on the even pages and the title goes on the odd pages. You should choose “different odd and even” and “different first page”. I always leave off the headers on the blank white pages and the first page of each chapter.

7. Add your page numbers This is the bane of my existence. I hate adding the page numbers. Sometimes this goes smoothly, and sometimes I get so frustrated I have to come back later. This last time was one of the frustrating times, but then I suddenly got it. One of these days I’m going to write down DETAILED instructions as I go. Again, I don’t like page numbers on the blank pages and first pages of chapters. OR the title page and copyright page. The way you make this happen is you have section breaks, not page breaks between chapters and also between the title page, copyright page, and blank pages.

8. Tell your cover artist how many pages your book is so she can make the cover the right size! 🙂

These are NOT detailed instructions, it’s just a checklist. If I left anything out, please let me know. I had to do this from memory since I’ve already done the book. Also, if someone sees anything I need to reword, let me know.


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